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in the museum to let visitors understand the complexity of this constitutional drama. thy naftali on c-span's "q&a." >> next, >> panelists included officials. this is about one hour and 40 minutes.
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>> i never heard such a stupid thing. [laughter] [indiscernible] >> then you have to come back and you are shaken up. >> i have yet to hear a serious argument from either of these two. no, no, you have had your say. >> you have got to say something. >> i am not prepared to sacrifice for some free market ideology.
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ideology. >> we are all in this. running a trade surplus unless we can find another to sell to. >> we remain unlike japan. the place where everyone in the world wants to come and the place everyone in the world wants to put their money. >> we created communists. we make two world wars. >> so what. big deal. [applause] >> if you get sick and choose to go to the united states, you have a higher risk of medical error. the cures for aids and alzheimer's will come from america, not canada.
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>> imagine a world without religious faith. not just no place to worship, no prayer, no scripture, but no men or women who, because of their faith, dedicate their lives to others. >> over us to supervise this. a celestial dictatorship. a kind of divine north korea. [laughter] >> i can't believe i'm about to say this, but dr. kissinger, you have six minutes. >> i think that is the kind of hypocritical argument i would find quite annoying. [laughter]
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>> you obviously finding it annoying even if you are not chinese. [laughter] >> well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the munk debates on iran. [cheers and applause] this is munk's debates on iran's nuclear ambitions. it is my privilege to organize this series and once again at as your moderate. we begin with a look back, a look back of some of the memorable moments of previous debates. tonight is a special evening for this series. tonight is our 10th semiannual munk debate. as we enter our fifth year we have hosted over 38 speakers. speakers such as tony blare, henry kissinger and larry
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summers. it is thanks to you the 3,000 people here tonight for the munk debate and the thousands watching online. all of you are representing our 30,000 strong memberships. this debate series is making a lasting contribution to more and better public debates, not only in canada but internationally. we're doing that through global tv and radio broadcasts through the bbc through the supporters of this debate and threw a unique publishing program that has seen these debates translated into over a dozen languages and are published throughout the english-speaking world. it is undeniable this series is having an impact.
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all of this would not be possible without you, our members, and two other very special people. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a big round of applause for tonight's 120th semiannual debate and hosts of the organization. [cheers and applause] ok, the moment we've been waiting for. let's get our two-team of powerhouse debaters out on to the stage and our contest under way. arguing for the motion, the world cannot tolerate an iran with nuclear weapons capability are charles krauthammer and amos yadlin.
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[cheers and applause] well, given tonight is an anniversary of sorts for the munk debates who better to have on stage than one of the debaters from our winning team from our first debate in 2008. he writes a must-read column, it is syndicated in over 150 newspapers around the world. he is on fox news for not suffering fools gladly ladies and gentlemen, please welcome charles krauthammer.
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given recent events in the middle east we're fortunate indeed to host as charles' debating partner as his career in israeli defense force was synonymous with the nuclear threats that confronted his country. high liabilities include being one of eight f-16 pilots in 1981 and to most recently playing a key role in managing israel's overt campaign against iran's nuclear enrichment program. now, let get out on the stage the duo who will be arguing against tonight's resolution the world cannot tolerate iran with a nuclear capability vali nasr and fareed zakaria. [cheers and applause]
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vali nasr leads john hopkins school of international study, he is one of the world's top exerts in the political and social developments of iran. he is the author of two best- selling books. he sits on the state department's influential board and has served as a senior advisor as recently as 2011 for
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afghanistan and pakistan. ladies and gentlemen, dean vali nasr. [cheers and applause] now, when you think of provocative conversation on the big foreign policy challenge of the day you have to think about our next debater. his program on cnn is seen in over 200 countries worldwide but he's anything but a talking head on tv. he writes a column for "the washington post" and is the edit or "time" magazine. please welcome back to the munk debate stage journalist fareed zakaria. [cheers and applause] now we're moments from getting our debate under way but before we hear opening statements, once
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again, i need this audience assist answer to make sure our debaters stay on time in terms of their opening and closing remark and we move forward as a debate together. so you will see this countdown clock, this clock appear. when it reaches zero applaud. this will let our debaters know that their time is over for their opening and closing statements. before we kick off the debate let's see how the 3,000 people gathered today voted on our resolution that the world cannot tolerate iran with nuclear weapons. let's see the numbers there. debaters you will have it on your screen here. 60% in favor of the motion. 23% opposed 17% undecided.
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now we all asked -- answered a second question depend on what you hear during the debate, are you open to changing your vote? how many swing states do we have in the audience this evening? let's see those results. past munk debates we have seen higher levels of potential vote changing. so this debate is very much in play. now, time for opening statements. as we've agreed to the order, dr. charles krauthammer you're up first. >> thank you very much. thank you for that kind introduction. there are nice introductions and there are kind introductions. the nice ones they list your achievements and they get a copy and they send it to your mother. the kind introductions where they leave stuff out. for example, i appreciate you leaving out the fact that i once worked for the liberal senator walter mondale.
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people ask me -- wrong reaction. people sometimes ask me how do you go from walter mondale to fox news? i tell them it is easy i was young once. also i appreciate that t fact that you left out i was once a psychiatrist, technically i still am but in reality i'm a sick terrorist in remission, doing well, thank you. i have not had a relapse in 25 years. sometimes i compare what i do as a political analyst in washington with what i do -- what i did back then as a psychiatrist and i tell people, as you can imagine it is not that different. bone lines of work i deal with people who suffer from paranoia and delusions of grandeur. the only difference is that in washington people have access to nuclear weapons.
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it makes the stakes higher and the work more interesting which leads us to tonight's debate. nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime like iran. can we live with it and the answer is no. i will give you three reasons to start off the debate and then we'll get into the details as we go on. i'm sure you will enforce the six-minute rule. the first reason, i think we have to look at this in deceasing size the global, the regional and the local effect. the world has been for 60 years trying to curtail and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. hyper proliferation is the world's nightmare. imagine what a world would be like where iran, the most powerful, most aggressive and
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according to the state department, the greatest exporter of terror in the world, the most aggressive state, the most radical state in the middle east acquires nuclear weapons. that is the extent of nonproliferation. you think the weaker nations are going take refuge in the treaty? no. here's what will happen, uncontrollable nuclear proliferation throughout the region roiled by revolution and secretary rain feuds. those are the words of henry kissinger when it works and when it doesn't. we'll get a nuclear arms race all the neighbors, saudi arabia, turkey, egypt, syria, think of syria -- god knows who will be in charge of syria will all have nuclear assuming that iran goes nuclear first. this is not just the middle east it is going spread.
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our opponents are going to speak about deterrence. our experience that we've had is the stable deterrence in a in a bipolar system, united states and soviet union. imagine that you have to do deterrence with unstable countries and with shifting alliances. how do you enforce or rely on deterrence in those circumstances. you can get accidental or unauthorized use, you can get theft, you can be the delivered proliferation in the hands of terrorists. imagine what al qaeda would do what it did on 9/11 if they would hesitate for a second if they got hair hand on nuclear weapons.
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that is the threat and the end of nonproliferation and the end of relying on deterrence. we always try to prevent a rise in the middle east in the control of the oil. that's why there was an iraq war in 1991 over the invasion of kuwait. what the arabs understand, once iran is nuclear it becomes the most aggressive islamic state in charge of the area in the middle east. that's why those have beseeched the united states to take out the nuclear program in advance. the saudis would line the deserts with arrows saying this way.
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lastly, i'm running out of time, i hope, perhaps you will resist from applauding at six-minute mark, or at least the 60% who are not sympathetic to our view and drown out the others. this is a regime that has threatened to annihilate israel and expressed its intentions to do so. we are relying on deterrence because it worked in the cold war. the cold war was different. the target of the united states was a continental nation, israel is a one bomb country. [cheers and applause] i commend you. i will stop here and say there is a radical difference between the soviet -- u.s. relationship.
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you will not ask jews in israel to rely on deterrence in this kind of situation. thank you very much. >> charles, if it makes you better henry kissinger re did not get away with it either. >> thank you for that introduction. it is a -- introduction it is a pleasure being here. it goes without saying that the world would be better if iran does not become a nuclear arms state. achieving that goal should be our principle priority going forward. however, despite our best efforts that undesirable end may come to pass. should we act suicide if this is the first time we encounter such
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a challenge or the logical deterrence does not apply to iran. the answer is no. as troublesome as iran has been its behavior reflects the pursuit of national interest. it has a strategy, it pursues it and in the course of doing so it reacts to incentives and pressure. we don't approve of its method but we understand its goals. iran is a familiar problem one with which we have plenty of experience. during the cold war, we managed decent prosperity in europe and asia containing armed soviet union and china. the principle is clear and we are still guaranteeing decent prosperity in asian with a north korea regime that is armed and
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on a weekly basis threatens to set villages on fire. it is known for its instability and support for terrorism. in that situation has been going on for over two decades and yet, there is a stable containment situation in which the indian economy has been prospering. it is often argued that iran is different because they the iranian regime is irrational. so much so it is impervious to
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the logic. it is assumed that iran's aim is to start a nuclear armageddon the minute it gets nuclear weapons. it is mandated to do so. there are plenty of american politicians that believe in the happen church but that does -- rapture. if iranians were driven in their foreign policy they would have rejected when their shrine was blown up in iraq in 2006 and yet they didn't. the last time iran attacked a neighbor was in 1859 to reclaim territory that was snatched away by great britain. the record of the past three decades shows that as problematic as iran's behavior has been it is still driven by cold calculations of regime survival and national interests.
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you don't need a degree to understand iran's strategy or conclude that the regime that has survived for three decades could not be suicidal or completely reckless. in fact, support for terrorism, iran is more accepting of international norms that are the case with communist china or pakistan. we talk about the proliferation issue. it was pakistan in america's tight embrace that began to act as a nuclear country. if we say we won't tolerate a nuclear iran then we have to say we're prepared to go down the path with war with iran. we have to ask you can we tolerate another major war in
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the middle east? this time with a country that is twice as large as iraq. it has larger land mass and its capitol city is two mountain ranges away from the nearest port facilities. will that war be effective? will it get the job done? how long will that war take? five years, 10 years, 20 years longer? how much will it cost? how many americans will die in such a war? 10,000, 15,000, more? how will such a war impact the middle east or america for that matter? do we want such a war? can we tolerate it? it seems that americans have already answered this from of
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the president it down, they have answered clearly and it is a no. they don't want such a war. the good news is they don't have to have it. if it becomes necessary, if the diplomatic efforts, the sanctions to stop iran were to fail we can manage a nuclear iran just as we managed china, north korea, and pakistan. thank you. [applause] >> while the debate is shaping up nicely next up is amos yadlin. amos, the podium is yours. >> it is 2:00 a.m. in tel aviv and i'm the only one who is not speaking english every day. it is more frightening to have a
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real gun pointed directly at your face than watching this on cnn or reading about it in "the washington post." last week israel was showered with 1,500 shells aimed at innocent people, innocent women and children. it will supply to hamas and islamic jihad in gaza. thank god they were no nuclear missiles. they are the only state leaders calling if the destruction of the u.n. member state. the supreme leader, the president, the chief of staff, are using daily expressions like cancer remover, wife off the map wipe off the map and they point at israel. our grandparents in europe 70 years ago in the wildest dream never imaged that hitler intended to do what he said. i suggest that we take this current iranian threat very,
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very seriously. why? because iran has a cool and logical regime. they hang 16 years old publicly. they torture their own citizens and kill them in prison. you know the canada rain photographer who was arrested, tortured and killed in the iranian prison? they tampered with the election result. iran is also -- for many years they do exercise all over the war. in 1980's they bombed the u.s. embassy. they have killed more than 200
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marine soldiers in beirut. the israeli embassy in argentina they bombed that as well. and what they are doing today, killing more than 30,000 people of his own kisses. this is the iranians, they back every negative regime in the world. imagine iran to posses a nuclear weapon, will this pass to terrorists just as the best iranian weapons have made its way to the only organization in the world with missiles. but this is not only the terror
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aspect. a nuclear iran welcomes back the end of the world as we know it. and the middle east welcomes a worse neighborhood. saudi arabia they are concerned about the nuclear iran more than israel. they will go to pakistan the next day. they have already paid for the bomb they just have to bring it back home. it is turkey, iraq, every country believed to be a superpower will go nuclear. nuclear balance will include many participants is not stable. if it just israel against iran, the main concept is destruction, basically, the cold world war is not there anymore.
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there is no communication between iran and israel. at this time, the soviet union had an embassy in washington, d.c. the brother of the president, kennedy went to the embassy in d.c. and they tried to deescalate a war that was about to have a nuclear war. there is no iran embassy in israel. there is no white line between the prime minister office and the supreme leader. this is not an israeli problem. the iranian regime has turned against everything we stand for, freedom, human rights, rule of law, women's rights, everything. last word, if you believe i am the only one in the world who is taking part in operations.
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two are very successful -- [applause] two are very successful and keep the nuclear weapons out of the hands of cold blooded dictators. the community must take care of [applause] at this time the nuclear guns, we look at all of us. [applause] >> there you see on display the discipline of an officer who completes his mission.
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regardless of the casualties. fareed zakaria you're up next. final opening statement. >> thank you so much. i really understand the position of the opposing team. i understand the fear, i understand the danger, i understand the challenge. let me put it into perspective, after the cold war the united states was the only country with nuclear weapons. then is soviet union acquired a nuclear weapon. there are many serious people
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that felt this was a calamity and the only recourse the united states had was a preempted war against russia. this was a position not held by wacky warmongers. harold nickelson, a british diplomat argued in favor of that. but dwight eisenhower understood it would have huge costs and undergo huge consequences so he opted for deterrence and containment. put pressure on them so they found it difficult to operate and maintain the deterrence that says to them if you try to do something you will be annihilated. the soviet union was regarded as a crazy power bent on revolution. stalin just sacrificed millions of his people. they were routinely called crazy, irrational, all the things you've heard about iran.
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but we learned that the proper course of action was not roll back but containment and deterrence. then we watched this again in china. john kennedy feared if china went nuclear 25 other countries will would nuclear. china did go nuclear. he talked about the need for a nuclear war. he said it would cause sacrifices but it would be educational.
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he said that half of the world would be destroyed. that is a crazy and messy comment and yet, what we learned was that it could be contained and deterred. pakistan fought a war every 15 years, three wars in 30 years. then they got nuclear weapons and in the last 40 years they have not fought a war since. every time you will of course see tensions and crisis because these powers are in conflict with one another. but what is extraordinary during the cold war, despite the intense political rivalry that all history would suggest that soviet union would go toward but they didn't because of the nuclear weapons margaret thatcher understood this. she gave a speech and she said you and i secretary general know the conventional weapons have never deterred war in europe. but nuclear weapons have don so for 40 years she said that in
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1989. north korea, when they went nuclear, all other countries would go nuclear, japan would go nuclear. south korea is at war with north korea. japan hasn't gone nuclear. the lesson of north korea is if our third-rate dysfunctional country that mansions to acquire a couple of nuclear weapons you remain a third world country. it flows from your g.d.p. so we come to israel and the challenge that iran places there. what i would argue is that the iranians are cool, calculating
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in their rhetoric and in than in their actions than any other regime that we're talking about. they will be deterred. they will be deterred, remember israel has many submarines so they have second strike capacity. they will be deterred by america's vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. they don't have any net. we're talking about a war in the middle east where we will go and strike a regime. what would happen? the regime would gain support at home. every regime that has been attacked preemptively has the effect of rallying around the regime. we would be able to destroy part of the infrastructure but they
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will rebuild quickly. their own estimates is that it would delay the program by two years. you will turn the regime into a much more popular force in the middle east than what it is now. we have a strategy. we have enormous pressure on them. the sanctions are crippling their economy. they have not been able to develop a nuclear weapon. every year for the last 10 years i've been told that iran is one year away from getting a nuclear bomb. either israel intelligence are very bad or we're very good and containing and deterring iran. [applause] >> there's a profession at broadcaster for you. one second to spare. well done. there is so much we need to discussion from proliferation to deterrence. i think on the mind of many people is what happened in the
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last number of weeks, the conflict between israel and gaza. vali nasr let's have you begin this. you say that iran is seeking a nuclear device to dominate the arab world not to destroy the middle east. but as we heard the long-range missiles that were fired for the first time on jerusalem and on tel aviv were proudly provided by iran. so why is the general wrong about the intent of destruction and why are you right about domination? >> first of all, iran and israel have been in a low-level war for a number of decades. you refer to the back and forth over what happened in south
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lebanon with the bombing and the retaliations that iran did in argentina. currently, as we're speaking there are cyber attacks on iran. they are hitting back. but launching a nuclear weapon is a different order of magnitude in terms of escalation. as he said with a second strike the ability with submarines. iran is in no way to take israel on at that level. iran would brandish these missiles proudly. he wants to change the conversation in the middle east from syria. he wants to tell arabs that he is providing ammunition to the palestinians. in of the past, it has gained ground in the arab world because
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of these two things. the lime light has shifted from then and what will they are doing in syria and they are seen as the only government in the region that is providing material support to the palestinians. it is cold calculation about what would promote them in the region. >> it sounded rational. cold, calculating, why don't you buy that analysis? >> this argument that they are acting cold and calculating makes no sense in relation to israel. iran and israel were allies, friends until the revolution. it is precisely the ideology, it is the idea of the revolution to explain that iran was the beginning the spark of the of islam's place in the world. in other words to achieve that as they have been saying if the
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last year, the destruction of israel is the beginning of the redemption of humanity. the other side is trying to pretend that somehow the iran regime is cold and calculating. then why is it risking everything for supplying arms? how does that promote their interest to involve themselves in the civil war in syria where they are becoming hated because they are arming and protecting and sending revolutionary guards into syria to kill imprisoned and torture muslims this is a driven regime and at the top of the list, is the annihilation of israel. our opponents are saying it is rhetoric this is a nation that is only interested in their own nation's interest. it is the opposite. >> let us come back on the critical point of the conflict >> two points. the reason the iranians help the palestinians because this is a shiites that is trying to have dominance in the middle east. how do you do that? if you go to the streets of cairo which i have done many time, what is striking that when you talk to shop keepers the
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photograph they have in the shop is a shiites. you ask them why do have that photograph? he will say it is because he supports the palestinians. by supporting them they are in effect outwitting the regime themselves. they are saying your government is too scared of washington to support the palestinians fully, we will support them. by the way, it is what makes arab countries scared to oppose. this tells us was one thing clearly, particularly the f you look at turkey, there is now a new middle east and israel is the superpower. egyptians under a new government were going to be different. these guys muslims are crazy then you put one in power like that and you know what is going to happen. guess what he did, he followed the policy which is to broker a today is larger than all of its neighbors put together. that does not get into the technological advantages it has, the enormous advantage of being
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the only country in the middle east that has sophisticated nuclear weapons and sophisticated deliver systems. the turks will make very fine
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speeches in favor of the palestinians and the egyptians will shed tears but none of them will do anything because they are deterred. [applause] >> if israel did not believe in deterrence why did they go through the enormous of building a nuclear arsenal? it is to deter their enemies not to use it. >> some people have commented that the conflict suggests that israel needs some deterrence on
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its range of military action to find a solution for negotiations. how do you respond to that in line of argument? >> i think we have to go back to iran. i don't know what we're doing in gaza right now. we're speaking about iran. basically, the argument that the cold war deterrence are going to work in the middle east -- they won't. listen to the president of iran and what he said is that israel is a one-bomb country. very tiny, very small, and the proud islamic nation can't absorb three to four bombs. is that deterrent? no, it is not. you know when the americans and soviets were doing the deterrence calculation, both of
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them have lived in this war. they want top continue to live in this world. we have a business with people who think about the second world, second life. they invent the suicide bomber. they sent kids to open mines in the war with iraq. these people are rational but it is not our rational, it is different. they have to call somebody over there and i'm worried about the way they are making their decisions. [applause] >> let's spend one more moment on this before moving on to the question of proliferation. you have written a series of books on iran in the country
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that you are born. why is he wrong to think there is a rational force -- maybe not among the people but the leadership who can make the decision to involve in a conflict or not? >> the fact that people willing to die for a cause is not unique to muslim. in world war ii you had pearl harbor. it is proven effective and this is the reason it is being used. secondly, rulers can manipulate the popular belief of foot soldiers to get them to sacrifice themselves to a greater cause. it happens all over the world. not only in iran but across the muslim world, the foot soldier who is willing to commit suicide
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can believe in anything but the generals don't believe in that. the iranian leaders, are old men. they did not get to that age believing in suicide bombing. not one of them has sent their own son into this regime. he is right that the ethics of this regime is different and they use poor, uneducated kids to achieve their strategic objective. the iranian ruler makes the calculations on the basis to expedite their own departure to the next world. [applause] >> let's move on to the theme of nuclear proliferation and it is a key one. to do that, over the last week or so we caught up with a few
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international policy thinkers to get their reflection on this debate. the first of these was senator george mitchell who we spoke to in wards earlier this week. he was barack obama's u.s. specialist on middle east million until 2011. >> good evening. the debate on this suggest has tended to focus on the threat to israel from a nuclear-armed iran. that is a serious concern which i share and i'm sure it will be discussed this evening. there is another aspect of the subject that i think deserves discussion as well and that is the threat to the nuclear nonproliferation regime or stated more simply, the danger of the spread of nuclear weapons to many countries. the united states led the world
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into the nuclear age and ever since has also led the effort to restrain the spread of these highly destructive weapons. with some success in the half century since the first atomic bomb was exploded over the desert in new mexico, nine countries have come to possess nuclear weapons. but the number of countries with the capability to possess those weapons is many times more than not. those countries that have voluntary refrained from developing nuclear weapons one, of course is canada have relied on the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. if iran gets a nuclear weapon that could change. it could trigger an arms race in the middle east as several countries there move quickly to get their weapon. it is already a highly volatile and very dangerous place.
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right now israelis and palestinians are dying. the hostilely remains high between sunni and muslims. >> it was a part of your arguments the case for stopping iran to allow the nonproliferation treaty to continue. go deeper for us. why this region so different than the examples that they have given with china, russia, india and pakistan and most recently with north korea. >> because the conditions are different and they keep referring back to this stable cold war deterrence in a bilateral relationship between two established world powers, the u.s. and the soviet union.
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first of all, it is slightly overdone. anyone who lived through october 1962 knows how close we came within hours of a nuclear war between the u.s. and the soviet union. so this one example how we can limit this indefinitely shows kissinger talked about this, how instable it is. once the soviet has 10,000 weapons and the u.s. also does there is no alternative. we're now in a situation where iran has none. we can avoid that. avoid a cuban missile crisis. it should be at a higher level
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if iran gets nuclear weapons. why would we choose to have a world with iran to poe cease these weapons a country that declares its intention to annihilate a member of the u.n. notice our opponents said nothing about the issue of hyper proliferation. they keep referring to this single example, the stable bilateral deterrence. what will happen in the middle east as everybody understands, if you get all of these countries small, but some hoff them rich, some tech technologically advance. then we go from nuclear checkers who is easy to three dimensional chess, shifting alliances, unstable regimes. imagine in the hands of seven or eight of these countries nuclear weapons, countries where they could easily have accidental or
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unauthorized use. they don't have a tradition of civilian control of nuclear weapons as in of the west. how easy it would be to turn one officer or another as we see in afghanistan every day an afghan will turn on a western ally. there is also the issue of -- >> we're worried about the signals here. i'm going to go to fareed. >> it turns out we have an actual experiment as to whether or not there is proliferation in the middle east. it turns out, there was a middle east that had no nuclear weapons then one middle eastern power introduced nuclear weapons in the middle east. that was israel. they have close to 200 to 500 depending on who you believe very sophisticated weapons. no on of the countries surrounding israel which are still at war with israel have gone nuclear as a result of that. if the hyper proliferation
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scenario that charles is so devoted to were true why is it when they are sworn enemies, the country the opposing team keeps reminding us that the arabs hate got nuclear weapons did not trigger proliferation. >> let me answer that. >> the truth is every country that has received some kind of help from the united states has not chosen to proliferate. that is true of south korea and canada. the treaty, the truth of the matter is the reason people are not proliferating because they get guarantees from the united states, guarantees that the united states has provided to israel eastern surrounding countries. but if you ask -- >> you asked a question were was it rhetorical? >> you asked several, sir. >> why is it when israel acquires a nuclear weapon you
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don't get hyper proliferation? the answer is easy and simple. israel has no intention to annihilate a neighboring country. [applause] do you think egypt, saudi arabia, live until terror that one day out of the blue israel is going to destroy cairo? no, the reason that the israel weapon is not a threat and does not cause -- >> wait a minute. let me answer that. israel is not worried -- >> you can ask rhetoricals and make a speech or you can ask a question and i will give you an answer. israel is not going to start nuclear aggression. it is inconceivable. where as iran, which is intervening in gaza, intervening in syria and elsewhere is a nation when it threatens to annihilate another people take seriously. the saudis are not acting or pretending when they say iran -- >> let's keep going.
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there is a lot of people who -- hold on a second. equal time for all the debaters. let's go to vali nasr. >> first of all, it is in eye of the beholders pep. they take this as a game changer, maybe not annihilation but a game changer. there is more evidence that hyper proliferation would happen. it seems to be more on an american argument to argue against the case of iran going nuclear. it looks like we have done more to both countries to say they want to go nuclear. we're supporting egypt, saudi arabia, jordan, all of them to establish nuclear facility. i don't think countries can easily build nuclear capability
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information the middle east. most of these countries we're talking about don't have the infrastructure to build this kind of program. saudi arabia can go to pakistan and get it but then what are we doing here? these two countries are our allies. we have more leverage to prevent proliferation than we have in iran. it seems we're making the case for all of these countries to go nuclear because it proves the case against iran but there is no real evidence for it. >> general? >> i think the fact that you repeat and repeat again and repeat a lie is not making it true. i'm speaking about the number of bombs that israel has. israel declared this would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the middle east. israel is the only country that under a threat that it will be wiped off the map. i don't recognize any other country in the middle east. when ever our neighbor will make
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peace was, even the capabilities that we have would not be there. so israel behaves very responsibly as fareed said, we have four wars and never spoke about anything beside conventional weapons. it is a different behavior if you compare it to the way the iranians are speaking and what they are doing. i describe what they are doing all over the middle east and you cannot ignore it. vali, you know and i know, i read they are saying we're not going to tolerate a nuclear iran. believe me, they are your allies but they don't trust you anywhere. ofy don't trust you because what happened in egypt and they don't trust you because you are not stopping iran from become nuclear.
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they will become nuclear, no doubt about it. we already spoke about a balance in the middle east which is so unstable that it is not only us that don't want to live in this neighborhood, it is you who don't want to live in this neighborhood. when iran is nuclear the price of oil will be $200 or $300 a barrel and it will stay there forever. that is your problem not ours. >> i think it is very important for us to have a conversation about what happens if the strategy of the opposing team wants takes place. we're living in a world of bad choices that is the world of international relations. you don't have wonderful, clean solutions that make the problem go away. so imagine the scenario, what
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we do is, the united states and or israel goes and engages in the third middle eastern war in a decade. what is going to happen? if we cannot tolerate it the consequences are one that you have to live with. so let's play it out. the regime will get strengthened. it happens everywhere. one week after 9/11 bush's approval rating was 91%. the nuclear budget for iran for the civilian program is currently $300 million. this is a drop in the bucket. they will have radicalized the middle east. all this, for a two-year delay, for a three-year delay. what are you going to do? bomb them every two years.
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now fantasy version that the country we keep bombing turns into a democracy and suddenly embraces western values? [applause] far more likely they will get radicalized. imagine what we did what charles wanted to in 1950's and had rollback strategy. they didn't in the 1950's and many people argued that we should have had a preempted war. imagine if we did that with china, would they have gotten integrated the way they have? no, they would violent, unstable regimes and that is the fate we're condemning ourselves to if we launch another war in the middle east. [applause]
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that is the fate we are condemning ourselves to. >> that has to be one of the notes of this debate. if we are going to ask questions, you have to accept there might be an answer. >> fareed has given this scenario of what would happen. he went on and on and elaborated the details. the problem with his analysis is we have two empirical historical examples of exactly what he is talking about. the pre-emptive de- nuclearization. iraq 1981. the reaction from iraq -- 0. did they go to war? was there a rally? no. that is number one.
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>> what the inspectors found was an iraqi nuclear program which had been built. >> this was 10 years later. the west went into iraq and found it had not rebuilt and created a bomb. it gained a decade. number two, in 2007 there was an attack on the syrian facility. reaction -- 0. syria did not even announce the attack. if we had not done that, if the israelis acting on behalf of the west had not done that, what would be happening in syria today? the world as terrified about the loose chemical and biological weapons in syria that we know of and that the jihadist and al qaeda elements in syria could easily acquire.
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the reason there are no nukes is because of the preemption. that is why the hyper proliferation is so important. there would be this great reaction we get from our opponents that somehow we would get this great reaction. it was suppressed. if there were an attack on nukes and elements of a regime's strength, that could be the occasion for a revival of the revolution. revolutionary guards who tortured young people in the streets are not heroes and it would not become heroes -- [no audio] if they wrwere to be the
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victims of an israel attack on us soil. i think it could have the opposite effect. galvanizing a population that hate and impressive regime at a time where the regime would be at its weakest. [applause] >> you are the expert on iran. tell us why that is not true. >> syria and iraq are not iran. in terms of size, capability, size of population, the amount of weight. there are orders of magnitude of difference. i do not know any country that would side with al qaeda bombing its country. this is not about democracy. we are not putting sanctions on iran for human-rights. we are bombing it is pressuring it for something that is -- the iranian people believe in. technology.
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the iranians are probably as affectionate about their nuclear program as the pakistan is are indians. -- or indians. >> what about libya last year? we bombed in the population applauded us. >> you are bombing to protect them from authoritarianism regime. >> you said no government has attacked and the people have rallied. i gave you an example. >> the pretext matters. the example of 1953 when we intervene in iran and the reaction we got or the example of the iran-iraq war, even a moderate liberal democratic population -- >> they hate a regime that shoots young women in the street, tortures demonstrators and delivers the body to the family. that is why the rally.
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when it happened in libya, they rallied. >> did you get a last letter mixed up? we heard all this about the iraq war. the iraqis were going to love us because they were bombing them into freedom and democracy. [applause] i think he got the letter wrong. >> all the way from israel. 3:00 tel aviv time. >> i want to remind the audience the resolution today, not whether to attack iran are not. the resolution as whether the world can live with a nuclear iran. since they do not have arguments, they went to the attack.
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we are not suggesting attacking iran. we suggest not letting iran be nuclear by doing everything short of war. this was not done yet. only in the last year, the world of post a crippling sanctions. we would have done it a decade ago. the question was not here by now. the regime is a hated regime. i heard the argument, if he'd just sanctioned them, the people will rally behind the regime. never happened. the people hate the regime. 65% of iranians are very young and they never knew the shah and they blame the islamic republic for all the bad things in iran. tough sanction will change the regime. i am not speaking on other countries.
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what you have done in iraq was a mistake but you have a very good air force that can solve the problem. i am not recommending it yet. [applause] >> let's move on to another topic. what is a monk debate without a contribution from dr. henry kissinger? we caught up with him in new york last week. let's have a listen to his intervention in this debate. [tape] >> for a decade and a half, american presidents from both political parties have declared an iranian of their military capability is unacceptable.
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and that no option is off the table in preventing it. if iran emerges from this process, joined by other members of the un security council, with their military nuclear capabilities, the psychological and strategic balance in the region will be transformed. the countries of the region and elsewhere will look to the development of nuclear weapons for their own security. nonproliferation as an international goal will be ended or jeopardized. western strategy will be severely damaged. it is essential that the united states and its allies define what they mean by iranian nuclear military capability.
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and what they mean by the term unacceptable. >> fareed, let me start with you. the credibility of western strategy will be severely damaged. your president in of the context of this recent election had to walk towards a red line on iran. very close to our resolution tonight. about the ability to assemble devices as opposed to working device. as the train already left the station? is u.s. position able to walk back from what dr. charles krauthammer and general amos yadlin are arguing? >> first of all, how you argue with that accent? he was my debate partner the last time we did the munk debates debate.
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i have great respect for him. i think that the united states position on this issue is understandably ambiguous. you do not want to signal in advance at what points he would go to war -- you would go to war. the government of israel has the same position. the israeli prime minister has been asking washington to draw a red line. israel itself has not drawn a red line. i would argue they are right not to draw a red line parity want to keep the other type testing. you don't want to give the other person year timetable. if they invade a country, that triggers an obvious response. in a situation like this, retain much more flexibility if we maintain some degree of strategic ambiguity as the israelis are doing.
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it is important to point that the iranians did not have nuclear-weapons. there is something worth pointing out here. not only do they not have nuclear weapons, but the supreme leader of iran has said they had issued a fattwa saying it would be un-islamic to have them and that the founder of the regime but it was wrong to have nuclear weapons. they could be lying but it would be offered a regime that relies on legitimacy on a religious edicts to unnecessarily issue these edicts. nobody is asking them to say this stuff. they're not seeking to have an arsenal already to go. that reality is the one we have to live with, try to figure out exactly what iranian action would trigger an american or israeli response. that is why the americans and israelis are maintaining that ambiguity.
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>> of course he could be lying. that is an interesting understatement. here is a regime that has allowed its currency to depreciate by 60%. has had its economy completely wrecked, has been isolated because it is pursuing a nuclear program and we are to believe that the ayatollah saying we are not interested should supersede what we see in front of our eyes. >> saddam hussein did not have been a clear weapon, it turned out to request do you think the -- >> do you think -- >> i am talking about the real world, what is happening right now.
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>> saddam hussein was in a real world, not a fantasy. >> saddam hussein -- one minute. you are saying iran is faking its nuclear program? >> no, it has an active nuclear civilian program. analysts are unsure. do they want to stop sure? to get the benefits they seek without incurring the costs. >> that is a key point. i want amos yadlin to respond to that. it is about walking up to that line, not going over it.
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>> i think somebody has to understand the iranian strategy. the iranians are smart, sophisticated, and they have learned history. history told them that libya, syria and iraq -- did it wrong. india did it well. the air not going to the bomb as fast as possible-- they are not going to the bomb as fast as possible. they are going as safe as possible. the shattered she is to develop -- the strategy is to develop a nuclear program that zacaria could call civilian.
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they have developed all the capabilities that will enable them to become nuclear at the time. strategically, they decided to go to a nuclear weapon. otherwise, they will not suffer the sanctions and difficulties they have now. the want to go to the nuclear- weapons it would be very difficult to stop them at this time. it was the security council. they cheat, they conceal, they lied.
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they found high levels of enrichments because they deny that the iada into the view. strategically they are there. that is what they intend to do if we let them continue. >> i want to be conscious of our time and the need to get to closing statements so we can have it final second audience vote before 9:00. >> there are many strategic reasons why iran would want nuclear capability, virtual nuclear program or an actual bomb. it has to do with the regime's survival.
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do we want to go to war to stop it? you said that aggressive sanctions may work. maybe diplomacy in the second term work. according to you, they have already made the decision they are going to do this and they want to have the security north korea and pakistan do. if that is the case, the only option on the table is that we either detained and turned them or go to war with them. >> we are going to bring the podium out for closing statements. we will do it in the opposite order of the opening statements. fareed zakaria, you are up first. [applause]
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>> when i was a kid in college, i invited reagan's defense secretary to campus to speak. there was a huge amount of commotion. many protests against him, all from the left. people started standing up and chanting against him. what they kept saying -- deterrence is a lie. in those days, it was the left that did not understand deterrence. they were emotional and irrational and it felt there had to be a better way around it. it was the wise heads, the stain on the right -- the same on the right to reminded us of the need for deterrence. one such person put it this way. he said once every 25 years, and new generation discovers the horrors of the bomb and looks for a way out.
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but he said there is no way out. deterrance, like old age, is intolerable until one considers the alternative. that was about 25 years ago, charles krauthammer. [applause] what i want to say to charles is come home. [laughter] come home to the sad, necessary task of building a powerful containment and deterrent strategy against iran. of course of the once and iran with nuclear weapons. of course one wishes to place every obstacle in the way it had the same strategy of containing and deterring them so that eventually, we create circumstances where the young people of iran can take their country back.
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modernity and freedom and liberty. that is the course we are trying to move on. but there is no fantasy solution that says we cannot tolerate this and we are going to court to war instead and preemptively strike in other country in the middle east and they will love us and embrace us. then the problems of the middle east will go away because we would have gotten rid of that evil deterrence. alas, that is not how it works. international rivals will persist, the middle east will continue to be a complicated place. haven't we just got through a decade of two wars, both of which have the promise of this assuring a new era in which everyone would love the united states and the west.
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yet we find ourselves in the same situation. i say, come home charles krauthammer, to the kind of reason and history and logic that he once powerfully believed in and argued in. tonight given because these guys are different and brown and colored. at some time -- that somehow we have to have fantastic solution. [applause] >> oh, google. the things that allows us to find out about each other. [laughter] up next, amos yadlin. >> once again, i have to remind you this debate is not about attacking iran. this debate is about not letting iran become nuclear.
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the world cannot afford a nuclear iran. it is not the same story. it is not really the same story as the cold war. this is a regime pulling for destruction of another country. i never remember the united states wanting to destroy the soviet union and vice versa. so it is another story. i think people underestimate what happened and what kind of world we will lead if iran becomes nuclear. i am a general. i've fought in many wars. nobody hates wars more than me. i have been there. i saw the blood, the pain, the waste, the cry of the widows.
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we don't call for war. we call for the world to wake up and stop iran before it will be a nuclear war. when you run out of argument, you speak about the war nobody advocate. we advocate a very tough regime, sanctions against iran. and have the russians, chinese, indians -- iran must be stopped. iran is not north korea. north korea is not threatening the far east. they do not want to be the hegemony. remember we cannot allow this
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anymore. as an intelligence officer, you have to give to answers. what is the enemy's capabilities and what are their intentions? this capabilities, if you have good sources, you have good answers. how many kilograms of iridium they have. they want to destroy israel. we have to take it very seriously and stop iran from becoming nuclear. thank you. [applause] >> vali nasr, you're next.
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>> i do think they are important and stark choices. we think of the biggest issue in the middle east being iran not only because of its regime and abusing its population, it is taunting israel and its neighbors and it is going nuclear. women think about decisions -- when we think about decisions about iran, you have to also note every decision has a context. iran is not the only issue in the region. we are also seeing a middle east that is falling apart all across the world, from tunisia, libya, egypt. regime after regime is coming unstable. we are seeing a major shift.
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we are not going to be dealing with iran in a vacuum. the decisions we make have to hold true to what it means for the region. the united states has not done well in the two big wars. it does not have the record to show for it. it spent trillions of dollars and has not been able to accomplish its objectives, whether in afghanistan or iraq. it is very clear the americans are more interested in these days in nation-building at home. these are important contexts to bear in mind. hopefully the iranian regime will change. hopefully the administration will take diplomatic seriously. or that sanctions really changed
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the ingraining government's mind and they change course. clocks for diplomacy for sanctions are not synchronized with the clock for building iran's nuclear capabilities. it is possible iran may go on a clear before any of these things take effect. before sanctions produce the results. then we are left with two choices -- we either find a way to contain and deter a nuclear iran or we go to war with them. if the go to war, them have to be prepared for what that war would entail. it may very well be that it will be far more costly. we started sectarian war in the middle east.
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the shia sunni war was our doing. [applause] it is another war that is equally intolerable. thank you. [applause] >> charles krauthammer, you have three minutes and the final word. >> so many errors, so little time. i will address two points. yes, i believe in every word i wrote in 1984 dealing with the u.s. and the soviet union. it remains true today. the idea that some technique like deterrence because it works in one context will always work is mindless. i would say to my friend fareed, with up to the reality that israel and iran is not u.s. soviet.
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the nature of the regime is completely different. the regime in iran, unlike that regime in the soviet union, has an apocalyptic idea of history and sees itself as the instrument of that. wake-up to the idea that in the 70 years of the soviet union, they never once sent out a suicide bomber. but for a iran, martyrdom is the royal road to heaven. wake up to the idea that for the jihadists we are fighting around the world, you love like, we love death. try turning back. we got to the idea that the nature of the dispute is completely different. russia was an ideological context with the united states. it never saw to wipe it off the map. iran believes the existence of israel as a crime against nature.
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they have told us what they intend in any clear experience. the application of an atomic bomb would not leave in the thing in israel but the same thing will produce damages in the muslim world. israel would forever and instantly be wiped off the map or as the muslim nation of 1.8 billion people would endure. that is a radical difference in history. to mindlessly apply it is unwarranted. remember the stakes. we are short deterrence will work. they did not know and we do not know if it will work or not but i imagine the risks if they are wrong.
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6 million jews dead, the is revocation of israel. -- the eradication of israel. hyper proliferation in the middle east and the iranian domination of the middle east and oil economy of the world. do any of you want to live with that? thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, it is clear why people have called this debate one of the toughest global for policy changes -- challenges of a generation. we have had to sharply contrasting arguments, and luckily presented by these teams of debaters. big round of applause for all of them. let me reiterate something.
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it is one thing to give a set piece speech on the subject you're intimately familiar with. quite something different to come in front of an informed audience and to make your case with passion and conviction. a question in front of all of us is which of these two teams of debaters has been able to sway public opinion in this hall. i'm glad i did not have a ballot. before we make that second vote, let's remember where public opinion was act in this hall at the commencement of tonight's debate. thes have the result on screen. this is a percentage of those who supported the resolution. we saw a large number who could potentially change your vote. this very -- this debate can play.
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we will announce the results in the self lobby before 9:00, where you can purchase books. great christmas gift as we enter the season. because this is our 10th debate all, let's celebrate a bit. we included a complimentary drinks ticket. have one on us in the lobby. let's gather shortly before 9:00 with the result of the second audit the vote. thank you everybody for coming. it was a great debate. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> discussion about the influence of the media. after that, weekly addresses by president obama in rep. camp. tomorrow on washington journal, a discussion on the agenda for the new congress with a republican strategist john feehary and jim manley. and and look at the salaries of current members of congress. national journal senior correspondent james kicked field talks about president obama's
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foreign-policy agenda. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. >> the big discussion i remember was what is richard nixon going to do? >> this is like a time bomb. this thing get out and gets to the press, it is a disaster for all of us. quick johnny came to me -- >> jenny came to me and said the president's council has bought me a list of 50 names of people. the was a very unpleasant thing to have happened to you. >> it was shortly after the farewell speech. the chief of staff called me. he said we forgot one thing -- a resignation letter. i said that is very interesting, i would be glad to read it. i would be glad to read it.
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